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Lockdown Update

posted Sep 18, 2016, 3:01 PM by Laurie Ratigan
Good Afternoon,

Late today I received the final information from the State Police regarding the incident that occurred on Friday, resulting in a district-wide lockdown. At this point, I can share some additional factual details. The threat was received at Metcalf School by a third party, concerned about potential violent actions of another individual. The threat was not directed toward any one individual or group of individuals. The police were contacted immediately and a district-wide lockdown was put in place as per protocol.

We were aware that the person of concern was reportedly on the way to the school district, so police were on scene to be sure that did not happen. We wanted all individuals to be inside and certainly did not want to convey a message of panic that would undoubtedly bring many concerned parents to the school buildings while the police were in the process of locating the reported individual and conducting their investigation. At no time during the event did anyone of concern enter any of our campuses, and the procedures at every school were executed as planned.

I was notified late this afternoon that there was no credible evidence that the reported concern would come to fruition. As we did for the remainder of the day on Friday, all classes and activities will resume as normal on Monday morning. Principals at each building will debrief with their staff and staff will debrief with their students. Administrators will also meet to debrief to be sure that everything in place was executed as planned, and to look at ways to make our current procedures even tighter.

We spend a great deal of time in schools preparing for the unthinkable, but when we have to put things in place outside of the typical drills that we conduct, it is a very different feeling. Our teachers and principals acted with confidence and bravery - remember that they were not privy to all of the facts as they unfolded either - but they took care of your children as their first and only priority under difficult circumstances. I cannot thank the staff, building administrators, and the state and local police for their handling of a very serious situation. Although we never want to experience the reality that many schools have faced across our country, everyone can rest in the comfort of knowing that our district is prepared to handle such a situation to the best of our ability should the need ever arise.

I have had a chance to see several parent responses to the initial e-mail that I sent out within minutes of the lockdown being lifted. I appreciate the many notes of thanks and your patience in waiting for the additional relevant information that I said would be released when it became available. I am very relieved to hear the results of the investigation, and I am confident that we will return to school tomorrow in as safe an environment as we have always had.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding. Know that all of your children were outstanding listeners during the event and I have heard nothing but praise from teachers about the way their students responded to what was asked of them on Friday. Please take the time to reinforce to them the importance of these safety procedures and convey my appreciation to them for their behavior on Friday.

Sincerely,

James Erinakes
Superintendent
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